It’s hard to imagine Bryan Ferry releasing an album that doesn’t sound refined and elegant. And on that count Avonmore – a return to more contemporary sounds after 2012’s The Jazz Age – doesn’t disappoint. The eight originals and two covers exude class throughout, from the irresistibly funky title track to the atmospheric cover of Robert Palmer’s Johnny & Mary, a collaboration with Norwegian DJ Todd Terje. Elsewhere, the likes of Johnny Marr, Nile Rodgers and Mark Knopfler all feature, without ever stealing Ferry’s thunder. Nothing here quite matches up to his 70s/80s imperial phase, but Ferry still sounds admirably fresh, even five decades into his career.
Phil Mongredien works on the Guardian's opinion desk. He also reviews albums for Q magazine